Your Disney World Ride Just Broke Down. Here’s When You Should Stay in Line and When You Should Leave

As much as we’d all like to pretend it wasn’t true, sometimes, things can go wrong in Disney World.

Hollywood Studios

The weather might surprise you, a parade could be canceled, and yes — even a dreaded ride closure can sneak up on you. Few things are as disappointing as waiting in line only to find that the ride you’re waiting for has broken down. Should you stick it out and wait in line or cut your losses?

We’ve been in this situation more times than we can count, and we’re going to break it down (see what we did there?) for you so you know what makes the most sense depending on your situation. Sometimes it might benefit you to stick it out, while other times you should get out when you can.

When To Stick It Out

Our first tip is to pay attention to what they’re actually saying in the ride announcements alerting you to the closure or breakdown of a ride. Typically, you’ll hear a Cast Member or pre-recorded message overhead that lets you know what’s going on. If they say the ride has “temporarily stopped,” it’s a pretty safe bet that it’ll be a quick fix.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

This is especially true with many of the Omnimover attractions — the ones that continually move — since they stop to let people with mobility issues on the ride.

Haunted Mansion

Another case when you’ll want to stick it out is if you’ve used a Lightning Lane and have already scanned into the ride. In situations like this, Cast Members will typically offer ride redemption passes that can be used at other attractions since you’ve essentially wasted a Lightning Line.


But, this is only the case if you wait until Disney officially makes the call. Leaving before they make the announcement that they’re clearing the lines means you lose out on potentially getting that redemption pass.

When To Cut Your Losses

This may go without saying, but if you’ve got an upcoming dining reservation or even a Lightning Lane to get to, then you should probably get out of line so you don’t miss it! There’s a chance that you could be waiting for a while and ultimately miss out on whatever your plans were — and then you’ve essentially missed two things.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Set a timer for when it breaks down so you can keep track of how long you’re willing to wait in a line. When it goes off — it’s time to move on. Most of the time, a ride will reopen later in the day and you’ll have another chance to hop back in line. We do have to warn you, though, that sometimes a ride will have a malfunction that can cause an extended closure, if you go with this plan you do run the risk of missing out.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

One of the best tips we can give you that applies in this situation and pretty much all Disney World situations is that you need to be flexible. We know you’ve been planning this trip for months and maybe even years, but even the most amount of planning won’t matter in situations beyond your control. Try to go with the flow the best you can, and remember, there’s plenty to do and see around Disney World. Thank you for coming to our TEDTalk.

TRON Lightcycle / Run

Be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for the latest tips and Disney World news!

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Have you ever been stuck in line when a ride has broken down? Tell us in the comments.

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